February 1st is shaping up to be quite a day for me. Well, being as my birthday is Feb. 18, I guess the entire month is one I should be looking forward to, but that’s beside the point. This post is about what’s going down on Feb. 1.
First and most importantly, my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers will be taking on the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. I have full confidence in my team that we will play to the fullest of our potential, our defense will carry us like it always has, and we have a solid chance of winning the game.
I’m also excited about Miller High Life’s one-second commercial spot they’ve announced, which was shown on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. (You can see the ads that didn’t make the cut here.)
But even before all that, I’m stoked about what’s going on in Huntsville before the Super Bowl even begins. Around 1 p.m. central time, I will be settling into my seat, jittery and excited, flashing back to my obsessions from childhood, and getting ready to scream my head off at overly-muscular men with long hair and bikini bottoms and beautiful women who can kick the snot out of each other.
That’s right. I’m attending WWE SmackDown! LIVE, and I am so excited.
I attended several WCW events, both in Memphis, back when I was a child, one Monday Night Nitro and one Thunder event. That was a long time ago. In September of 2007, I attended my first Pay-Per-View event, seeing the return of the Undertaker at WWE Unforgiven at my first FedEx Forum experience.
It was nice, and surprisingly still fun, seeing a pro wrestling show at the age of knowing that it’s not true competition, but instead a great performance, not unlike something you’d see on Broadway or something. As long as you go and leave your maturity and skepticism behind and scream your head off for your favorite superstars and boo the ones you dislike out of the arena, you’ll have a good time. As the television ad I keep seeing in Huntsville says: “If you’re only watching them at home, you’re only getting half the experience.”
There is something the advertisement said that strikes a wrong chord with me, however. The announcer says, “It’s the best value in entertainment,” and then later, “tickets as low as fifteen bucks.” As one who is getting first-had inside experience inside the confines of a Minor League Baseball team, I must solidly disagree.
Yes, it’s fun to go see these freaks of nature throw each other around like rag dolls and do ten flips off a ladder through a tables. One of the most underrated parts of the experience is the audio/video-coordinted pyrotechnical displays the WWE does an excellent job of producing. It’s not until you stop and think of how awesome it truly is that you realize you’re seeing big-time fireworks…indoors!
But it’s not the best value in entertainment. That, unbiasedly, really has to go to Minor League Baseball when done well. When done well, MiLB should provide an unforgettable and fun family experience, regardless of how much or little of a fan the person in attendance may be. Our tickets to a Stars game, which are all general admission, are $8 apiece. That means that for $15, the cheapest tickets to SmackDown!, you can get a good seat and some merchandise or good food, depending on the day of the week it is. The most expensive tickets to SmackDown! are priced at $50 apiece. Think of all the options you have if you bring a $50 bill to a Stars game:
- A family of four ($32) can pay for a good bit of food with the $18 remaining.
- A group of six friends ($48) can come out and still have $2 to spend.
- About three Stars t-shirts ($54) can be bought at the merchandise store.
- Two Stars polo shirts ($50) can be bought.
- Two official Stars New Era caps ($44) can be bought.
You get the picture. And this isn’t only with the Stars, don’t get me wrong. You can find a lot of these same deals around the nation in stadium after stadium of Minor League Baseball programs.
So, in closing, though I am very excited to be attending WWE SmackDown! on Feb. 1, I can’t help but disagree with the company’s claims to be the best value in entertainment. That title belongs to us.
I wanna hear from you! Have any of you ever experienced a pro wrestling event live? If so, tell me about your experience. Did you enjoy it? Would you go back if it came to a city near you?